Full disabled access, Toilets, Partial disabled access
New build and refurbishment. The new building features a triple-storey 'arcade' that links to the existing Victorian building, simplifies movement around the school and provides passive supervision.
London School Board,
Gollifer Langston Architects,
Walters & Cohen Architects,
New building; urban regeneration
The school serves a deprived area where some 75% of its students are eligible for Pupil Premium funding. The ethos of the school is to be very ambitious for students, and this building project gives them a beautiful and inspiring school that is fit for purpose and contributes towards raising students' expectations of themselves.
The centre-piece of the design is the triple-storey 'arcade'. The arcade was designed to simplify movement around the large school, providing an attractive link between the original and new buildings; in addition, the passive supervision it provides supports the school’s ethos of students taking responsibility for their learning and behaviour.
Another key success of the scheme is the 'flipping' of the main entrance from Charrington Street to Chalton Street, changing the character of both streets for the better. Chalton Street in particular now has the feel of a thriving, safe and welcoming place, effectively reclaimed by the community.
The original Victorian school building has been refurbished as contemporary teaching accommodation. The rooms are light and attractive, and the junction between the existing and new buildings has been handled creatively, making a key feature of the new arcade space, and one which visitors to the school note with joy.
The new state-of-the-art theatre, music and art facilities promote the school's specialism in the creative arts, with complementary spaces for the teaching of science. The building won a Camden Design Award in 2015, three RIBA Awards in 2016: a RIBA London Award, the RIBA London Sustainability Award and a RIBA National Award and a Civic Trust Award in 2017.
Facts and figures
– built in four complex phases to minimise disruption to the everyday running of the school;
– funded through BSF, the Labour government's Building Schools for the Future initiative;